View profile

Protests Worldwide - March 2021

Protests Worldwide Newsletter
Protests Worldwide - March 2021
By Protests Worldwide Newsletter • Issue #3 • View online
March had two themes: Feminist protests, not only on International Women’s Day, and police brutality in multiple countries. Meanwhile, the crisis in Myanmar in increasingly escalating, with the military using massive violence against protesters.

March4Justice Australia
Thousands joined Brittany Higgins in protests against her alleged rape in Australia’s partliament. Higgins came forward in February; since then, multiple women joined her in talking about sexual assault by an unnamed man working for the ruling conservative party. The Prime Minister has refused an investigation so far, causing protesters to take their demands for accountability to the streets.
UK police violence
The UK is facing major protests about women’s safety, police brutality and the right to protest. Earlier in March, Sarah Everard went missing. Evidence increasingly points to a metropolitan police officer having kidnapped and killed her. While the trial is set for October, protesters organized vigils to highlight lack of responsibility by the police and the dangers women face in public spaces.
The police reacted…rather poorly towards a vigil about a woman being killed by a police officer. They cracked down on the protests, with footage of police brutality going viral. With the police chief refusing to step down, anger at the crackdown is keeping up. At the same time, an anti-protest bill is going through parliament and getting mixed in the debate, with protesters fearing police overreach may become more likely due to this bill - hence resulting in “kill the bill”-protests. And this all is going on in the midsts of a major lockdown in the UK - in a time after the lockdown, who know what the dymanic will become.
Protests against killings in Pakistan
After four young men were found dead on March 21st, their relatives began a sit-in for a week, demaning an investigation of their deaths. Security forces, whom they suspect of having interrogated and killed the youths, did not respond. Neither did the central government. Protesters then organized a march, going from Jani Khel, where the killings occured, to Bannu and then to Islamabad.
Police tried to stop them, by firing tear gas on the way, placing barricades on their way, and arresting leaders. Mohsin Dawar, an activist of the Pashtun-Tahafuz-Movement and member of Pakistan’s national assembly, was arrested along with Mazoor Pashteen as they tried to join the march to Islamabad - both were released the day after. They have been vocal about killings by security forces in the tribal areas of Pakistan for years. As of now, the government seems unwilling to make concessions, and protesters seem unwilling to back down, making a confrontation likely.
Violence escalates in Myanmar
As the military is increasingly using violence, including live ammunition on children, the situation is seemlingy bound for an escalation. Protesters remain undeterred, despite the number of deaths rising quickly. Meanwhile, talks of radicalization in reaction to the military violence as well as clashes with insurgents in the east raise fears of a military escalation on top of the ongoing anti-coup protests. A possible refugee crisis is developing in India’s state of Manipur, where refugees from Myanmar are seeking shelter amid the violence in their home.
Boğaziçi protests turn into larger culture war
In Turkey, student protests which started earlier this year have come to encompass a wide range of issues beyond their original scope. With the government painting the protests as anti-Islam by highlighting an image with LGBT symbolism, crackdowns on both LGBT activists and student protests are legitimized to the conservative supporters of the ruling AKP party. This is part of a larger crackdown on the opposition in Turkey, where president sees not only the students as a challenge, but also the opposition party HDP, which it tries to ban.
Students protest the appointed new rector of Boğaziçi University, despite arrests and prosecution. There seems to be a generational aspect to it, as protests are not limited to campusses and encompass young people disillusioned with president Erdogan - although academic autonomy remains a key issue.
Student killed in protests in Johannesburg
Students protested student fees in South Africa as police opened fire. They killed Mthokozisi Ntumba at close range, raising questions about police brutality. In reaction, the government promised increased university funding andan investigation. Alot will hinge on how it actually follows through on these promises.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Protests Worldwide Newsletter

Protests Worldwide

In order to unsubscribe, click here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue